Thursday, December 15, 2005

The items pictured in my last post are carding combs. They were used to make quilt batt with. You put a handfull of cotton (seeds removed by hand) on one and comb them together pulling the strands apart as you do. I know not a very good description but I've only ever done it once. I went into the field across from the house, picked me a little bag of cotton, picked out the seeds (a MAJOR pain in the behind), then carded enough to batt a small wallhanging I made with a block I found in my Grandmother's stash after she died. Mama said she could remember her grandmother making a quilt with that pattern when Mama was a teenager. I'm sorry to say when I moved here from MS I seem to have lost it because it didn't make it here with me. And I've searched when I went back to visit and couldn't find it in my house there either. :-(

I also suspect from the comments I received on the other post that they are also used to separate the cotton (or wool) strands in preparation for spinning the cotton into thread. Those of you who've done spinning, am I correct?

So at some time in my past I've watched cotton planted, grown, picked and ginned (my Grandfather managed the cotton gin.) And I've made my own quilt batt (small!) from raw cotton. I've never taken a stab at spinning or weaving or dyeing cloth. Maybe sometime before I die I'll do those so I can say I've participated in some way in the production of a quilt from seed to binding.


Laurie said...

So, I was kinda close! ;o) Again, a very special keepsake for you Nancy!!

Finn said...

I recall reading in a Foxfire book that often the children were put to work picking out the seeds(which were saved). Often they placed the basket near the heat source, because the seeds came out easier if the cotton was slightly warm.
Also read that,yes, the cards are loaded on one side, teeth up and them the other card is pulled across, teeth down. Between the two, the teeth pull the cotton(or wool) out into strands. Creates a sort of small square of combed cotton or wool. In one book, the mother then walked over, placed it on the quilt backing, and went back to rock and card more. Building a quilt batt, one cotton square (about 6"or 7" square) at a time. Obviously they needed to quilt pretty close together or the cotton pulled apart and lumped in the quilt.

We are so lucky today to have so many batting choices..*VBS*